Doctors found a 10-centimeter piece of cement in a man's heart: how did it get there
After two days of chest pain and shortness of breath, the man went to the emergency room. He was found to have a 4-inch (10,1 cm) piece of cement that pierced his heart and right lung. This unusual, but, as it turned out, not an isolated case was reported by the publication USA Today.
The 56-year-old man underwent surgery known as kyphoplasty just a week before. He went to the emergency room after experiencing chest pain and breathing difficulties for two days. Live Science.
Kyphoplasty is done to treat a broken vertebra, or what doctors call a "compression fracture of the vertebra," a very painful condition in which part of the bone in the spine collapses on its own, often resulting in osteoporosis or weakening of the bones. During the procedure, doctors inject special cement into the vertebra to restore it to its proper height and prevent it from collapsing.
This cement seeped from the bone into his veins, where it hardened and, once in the heart, embolized.
In the emergency room, the man underwent X-rays and computed tomography, which showed a foreign body in his heart. The report says the man underwent emergency heart surgery, during which doctors discovered a thin, sharp piece of cement that erupted from the upper right chamber of his heart and punctured his right lung. After that, doctors healed the gap in his heart.
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The report also states that the man “almost recovered” one month after surgery without any other complications.
Cement leakage into the body is a known but rare complication due to kyphoplasty. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, complications occur in less than 2% of cases due to fragility of the bones.
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